5 Best Cheap Nike Basketball Shoes

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
5 Best Cheap Nike Basketball Shoes
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Nike is second to none when it comes to popularity and dominance in the basketball shoe market. To further widen their reach, they release signature shoes of LeBron, Kyrie, Kobe, and KD at lower prices. You can also find premium signature products at discounted prices if you know where to look.

Speaking of knowing where to look, here at RunRepeat, we are here to help you in your search for Nike cheap basketball shoes available out there. If you act fast, you will be able to get those coveted Nike models with huge price cuts, courtesy of retailers that want to free up their shelves for new stocks.

We bought and tested affordable pairs of Nike basketball shoes. We put them through the process of testing we apply to all types of shoes, may they be expensive or cheap. We created in-depth reviews for each shoe. 

How we test basketball shoes

To ensure the objectivity of our reviews, we adhere to our meticulous testing and selection process. That means performing comprehensive testing inside our independent RunRepeat lab. We also bring the shoes to the court for real-world wear tests while playing games of basketball.  

We strictly follow these protocols:

  • We buy all the Nike Shoes in the database for testing using our own funds. This safeguards the 100% impartiality of all our reviews.
  • We do mechanical tests in the RunRepeat shoe testing lab. We cut the shoes open and analyze their essential parts from the midsole cushioning, outsole grip, energy return, support, and many others.
  • We test the on-court performance of each model's shoe by playing games of basketball.

Best cheap Nike basketball shoes overall

Nike Ja 1

What makes it the best?

At $110 a pair, the Nike Ja 1 is not the cheapest offer out there. Yet, among all the cheap basketball shoes (priced below the $134 average) that we tried playing in, it’s the Ja 1 from Nike that delivered the best performance thanks to its amazing traction, unwavering support, and immense upper durability.

Quick direction changes and stopping on a dime were like child’s play for the Ja 1 because of how effective its bite on the court was. The multidirectional pattern on it indeed worked as it should

When it comes to support, we have the responsive upper materials and the stiff heel counter to thank. The upper truly felt secure without being overly restrictive. The heel counter, for its part, could really withstand some good squeeze in the lab. Hence, it truly deserves the 4 out of 5 it got for stiffness.

Both the toebox and the heel padding got a 5 out of 5 for durability. Our Dremel tests just seemed like laughable pinches for these two; our drilling barely left a mark on them!

It’s just sad that the shoe’s overall durability did not extend to the sole. The rubber outsole exhibited 1.6 mm of damage after our Dremel drilling. An average shoe would have incurred only 1.1 mm of damage.


  • A true bang for the buck
  • Amazing grip on the court
  • Quite a supportive ride
  • Pretty comfortable wraparound
  • Great plushness around the heel
  • Good forefoot bounce
  • Durable structure
  • True-to-size fit
  • Stylish look


  • Cheap-feeling materials
  • Still has to be broken in
Full review of Nike Ja 1

Cheap Nike basketball shoes with the best comfort

What makes it the best?

For us, the LeBron Witness 7 is the most comfortable Nike cheap shoe not only because of its immense breathability but also because of the topnotch impact protection that it delivers. We also appreciated the amazing traction it has on various court surfaces.

Scoring a 4 out of 5 for ventilation, this shoe felt quite airy even when we were playing intensely on the court. Both smoke and light passed through its porous upper quite easily when we did our breathability tests in the lab. 

Our caliper measured the thickness of the heel to be 34.1 mm, one of the highest numbers in our records. The thick heel tooling provided a lot of compression and impact protection, keeping us pain-free during our games. 

We fell even more in love with this shoe when it became clear that its grip on the court was nothing short of superb. We never had problems stopping on a dime or changing directions quickly.

It’s just disappointing that the upper is not anywhere near the durability that we desire. Regrettably, the toebox only got the lowest 1 out of 5 after performing the Dremel test on it.


  • Highly effective traction
  • Impressive impact protection
  • Optimum comfort
  • Breathable upper
  • Reliable heel lockdown
  • Good lateral stability
  • Great outdoor option
  • Fashionable design


  • Lacks court feel
  • Poor upper durability
  • No outriggers on the sole
Full review of Nike Lebron Witness 7

Best cheap Nike basketball shoes for outdoor courts

What makes it the best?

Among all the cheap options that Nike offers, it's the Air Max Impact 4 that we consider the best for outdoors. Not only was this shoe quite durable and firm, it also felt supportive and delivered a good deal of wraparound comfort. We are in awe that a $90 shoe is able to deliver more than many other Nike shoes (with $135 average price)!

According to our HC durometer, the outsole is harder (87.5) than average (81.5). A Dremel test in the lab also revealed that the upper is fairly sturdy, garnering a score of 3 out of 5. Taken together, these qualities make the Nike Air Max Impact 4 a good outdoor basketball shoe.

We felt the moderately stiff heel counter and quite rigid base worked together to keep our feet in place during the games. In the lab, we squeezed the heel counter to further test how firm it is. It got a 3 out 5 from us for its balanced stiffness. We also twisted the shoe to assess its torsional resistance. It was quite resistant, indeed, so a score of 4 out of 5 was warranted.

Comfort was delivered from all directions. The upper was quite breathable, garnering a solid 3 out of 5 in our smoke breathability test. We also have the well padded tongue, which the caliper assessed to be 2.3 mm thicker than the typical tongue. The tongue gave the top of our feet the pampering that they deserve.

Wide-footers, however, are not expected to join in the fun. The Air Max Impact 4 is only 101.1 mm wide at its widest point. This is practically equal to the average width (101.0 mm).


  • Traction is consistently good
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Decent impact protection
  • Comfortable and well-ventilated upper
  • Dependable foot containment
  • Great for outdoor use
  • Value for money


  • Needs to be broken in
  • Not for wide-footers
Full review of Nike Air Max Impact 4

Best cheap lightweight Nike basketball shoes

What makes it the best?

At 12 oz or 341g, the Nike Precision 6 definitely weighs a lot less than average (13.7 oz or 387g). What made this shoe especially noteworthy for us was how it packed so much without even tilting the scale or our wallets ($75 vs $135 average for Nike shoes). We were floored when the lab results revealed that showed it has a thicker tongue, harder outsole, and wider platform than average. Given all the other benefits that it carries, this shoe is easily the best lightweight shoe for us.

Even if we tightened the laces a bit too tight, they were not able to bite through our skin because the tongue provided a good line of defense. In the lab, we saw that the tongue has so much padding in it that it became 11.9 mm thick, which is noticeably thicker than the 9.4 mm average.

When we took this shoe outdoors, the rough blacktop courts looked harsh, but the shoe weathered through them like a pro. The uneasy texture did not even put a significant scratch on the outsole. When we checked in the lab, we found out why. Using an HC durometer, we measured the rubber outsole to be firmer (89.3) than average (80.3).

The Precision 6’s wide base definitely helped with stability. When we did aggressive side-to-side movements, the extra surface area afforded by the wider base contained the lateral displacement of our feet. When measured using our caliper, we saw that the forefoot and heel parts of the base are 116.7 mm and 91.0 mm wide. These figures are higher than the 112.6 mm and 90.4 mm respective averages.

We do not recommend this cheap shoe, however, to players who want a cushy feel underfoot. Our durometer showed that the midsole is firmer than average, 31.5 vs 28.5 HA.


  • Effective grip on clean courts
  • Very comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Wide and stable base
  • Good ankle support
  • Nice court feel
  • True to size
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • Totally lightweight
  • Breathable upper
  • Really affordable
  • OK for outdoors


  • Dust-prone outsole
  • Little impact protection
  • Upper lacks durability
  • Not for wide-footers
Full review of Nike Precision 6

Cheap Nike basketball shoes with the best court feel

What makes it the best?

We consider the Nike Giannis Immortality 2 as the most suitable for players who love court feel because of its speed-oriented firm midsole. We are also happy with its light structure and immense stability. The fact that it’s a lot cheaper ($85) than the average shoe ($134) makes it even more appealing.

We noticed that the midsole was on the firmer side the moment we put this shoe on. We confirmed this observation in the lab. Our HA durometer gave the midsole a softness score of 31.0, making it firmer than the average midsole, which has a score of 26.6. The firm midsole mimics the firmness of the court, effectively enhancing court feel.

Weighing only 11.3 oz or 320g, the Giannis Immortality 2 is indeed a lot lighter than the typical hoop shoe that weighs as much as 14.22 oz or 403g. Because of this lightness, we found it easier to accelerate and even jump higher.

The shoe’s wide base was also a big help in maintaining stability. We learned through our caliper measurements that the forefoot is 116.7 mm wide while the heel has a width of 98.2 mm. These figures dwarf the averages by 3.4 mm and 7.1 mm, respectively.

While it was really good on clean courts, traction bowed down quite easily when dust was present. Hoopers who do not play on pristinely clean surfaces are better off looking for an alternative.


  • Really good traction
  • Quick-feeling cushioning setup
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Very lightweight structure
  • True-to-size fit
  • Upper offers next-to-skin comfort
  • Good for outdoor use
  • Affordable


  • Not enough impact protection
  • Dust-prone outsole
  • A bit unstable
Full review of Nike Giannis Immortality 2
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.